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Coll 17/18(2) 'Smuggling between Kuwait and Iraq' [‎94v] (188/889)

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The record is made up of 1 file (443 folios). It was created in 15 Jun 1935-14 May 1942. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.

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4
Mr. Baxter informed Ins Excellency that His Majesty’s Government had in
S„ r f e T, d f" eXpert rep ^ Tt ’ f r° m which 11 a PPeared that the Iraqi authorities
might be able to give smuggling from Koweit a decisive blow if they were to take
ad . dltl ° nal measures . e.y .,control by aeroplanes and armoured cars,
o ether with drastic measures against those organisations or individuals in Iraq
by hi™ l F:reedency StmS m smu & glin g on such a large scale as had been suggested
Taufiq Suwaidi thought that the Iraqi Government had already taken ill
such measures as were in their power. There were numbers of armoured cars
heT,^ r P ° ' Ce eng f? 8d m anti-smuggling measures, and all this was involving
H' 8 ^;Xi d0 c e v' lmeI '! ln ■‘T, 1011 ? expenditure. The position apparently was that
t . ■ ' 1 01 Koweit would take no action whatever, because, of course, he had
othuig to gain from doing so; on the contrary, he was, if anything, making a
urge profit for a large part of the customs levied on goods entering Koweit
FrnmV'T ht sub ? ei I ue . nt l v be smuggled into Iraq) went into his own pocket,
rom the Iraqi point of view it was an unbearable situation.
, Major Edmonds suggested that the difficulty might be overcome if the Koweit i
customs tariff were increased to the level of the Iraqi tariff. The main cause of
the Sheflfb 1 of T 8 ‘ ^ 116 K0W , eit , i ‘ ar ; ff WaS so low - He tho *ight that possibly
the bneikh of Koweit was precluded from raising it by his treaties with His
^he Sheikh of Ko nme t nt ' /fi,' 4 7®* 1 n P0Ssible to agree to a customs union between
I L 7 n t d the Iraq ' 1 Gov8rame ut. co uld it not at least be arranged
that the two Administrations, even though remaining entirely independent should
impose the same tariff, i.e., the Iraqi tariff? ' ' '
ho J au fiS Suwnid i added that in that case the Iraqi Government would no
doubt wish to assure themselves that the higher tariff was being applied in Koweit
n if L .T 38 m , theo J7' and also that smuggling into Koweit was not taking
place on a large scale. He thought that this difficulty might be overcome if an
Iraqi customs official, perhaps one of the British officials attached to the Iraqi
customs administration, could be attached to the Koweiti customs administration.
Mr. Baxter undertook that this suggestion would be examined further.
Iraqi Government’s Wish for a new Port on the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. .
I , t f r ' <K r drew attention to the fear expressed by the Iraqi Foreign Minister
if Ar h h re S ou d be serK ; us interference by Persia with navigation on the Shatt-
Surelftbev di e H nqU ; red th ? natur u ° f u he Irar B Government’s fears on this point,
peace-time^ d d eXP<! S ° me h ° Stl 6 3Ct ° n the part of Persia - at a11 events in
Taufiq Suwaidi replied with references to the violent tendencies of Persian
po icy as directed by the present Shah. He referred to the difficulties that had
already arisen with Persia regarding the Shatt-el-Arab, and to the use of that
waterway by Persian warships.
Mr. Baxter suggested that in time of peace it was improbable that Persian
warships would commit hostile acts against Iraqi shipping using the waterway
between Basra and the sea Such an act of aggression teemed very ui l.kely
a least so long as the Anglo-Iraqi Alliance was maintained. In time of war
a so the Persian Government seemed to be unlikely to adopt a violently hostile
attitude towards the British and Iraqi Governments, since they would be^anxious
to maintain the revenues resulting from their sales to us of Persian oil
. On the other hand, His Majesty’s Government fully appreciated the desire
ml he v,. I a aql Government to secure an additional commercial outlet on the sea.
ey had no desire at all to stand in the way of such a project, and they had
carefully gone into the Iraqi Government’s wishes. The information at the
disposal of the British authorities concerned showed that Koweit itself was not
suitable for development as a modern port, and such development would be very
expensive; it would involve dredging on a large scale, and the construction of a
long breakwater, m addition to the provision of ordinary harbour works. Any
other place in Koweit Bay would be even less suitable, since at present ships could
not anchor nearer than 3 miles from the shore, and when the south-east wind blew
lighterage would be impossible. On the other hand, Khor Abdullah appeared from
the charts (which would, however, require confirmation, since they were based on a

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Content

This file is a continuation of IOR/L/PS/12/2878, and contains papers regarding the alleged smuggling of goods from Kuwait to Iraq, and attempts to broker Often a local commercial agent in the Gulf who regularly performed duties of intelligence gathering and political representation. an agreement between the Shaikh of Kuwait (Shaikh Aḥmad al-Jābir Āl Ṣabāḥ) and the Government of Iraq with regards to the prevention of smuggling and the establishment of effective frontier controls. It consists of correspondence between the Foreign Office, Colonial Office, Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. , the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. at Kuwait, and HM High Commissioner (and later Ambassador) at Baghdad, as well as communications received from Al Sabah and representatives of the Government of Iraq.

The bulk of the correspondence concerns efforts by HM Ambassador at Iraq, the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. , and the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. at Kuwait, to broker Often a local commercial agent in the Gulf who regularly performed duties of intelligence gathering and political representation. an agreement between the two parties. This included discussion of Iraqi proposals to assume control of Kuwaiti customs, to instigate joint border-controls and a manifest system for goods transported by land or sea, or to impose Kuwaiti tariffs on imports at the same rate as Iraqi tariffs. Later correspondence discusses the negotiation of an anti-smuggling agreement between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and a proposed customs union between Kuwait and Iraq. The correspondence makes reference to on-going negotiations over the Kuwait-Iraq border, and the Iraqi date gardens owned by the Shaikh of Kuwait.

There is a small quantity of correspondence from 1941 between the Government of Iraq, the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. , and the Ottoman Bank at Baghdad, regarding currency smuggling, money laundering, and the purchase of Indian rupees.

The file includes dividers which give lists of correspondence references contained in the file by year. These are placed at the end of the correspondence (folios 2-3).

Extent and format
1 file (443 folios)
Arrangement

The papers are arranged in rough chronological order from the rear to the front of the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 444; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. An additional foliation sequence is present in parallel between ff 2-444; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled.

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English in Latin script
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Coll 17/18(2) 'Smuggling between Kuwait and Iraq' [‎94v] (188/889), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2879, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100064979936.0x0000bf> [accessed 18 November 2019]

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